Improve Your Lyrics – Tip #34

Two things you need to consider for each section of a song (and possibly the song as a whole) is its form and function.

Form, as we talked about, is its structure. The function is what it intends to do (act as a verse, be a chorus, summarize, detail, etc.)

As you are brainstorming and starting your rough draft, it would be wise to keep them in find.

For example: say you wanted to write a country song. Your function is that you want a country song. So, what are some typical forms of country songs? How are verses and choruses stylistic in the country genre?

Similarly, say you wanted to delay the arrival to the chorus. That is the function in mind. Your form that would come after would be to use one of those tools we’ve talked about by adding a fifth line to a verse.

Now for the opposite process. Say you have a music section with four lines that have a rhyme pattern of XAXA and mention the song’s title. You most certainly have the form, but now it is time to decide on the function. Does the section work better as a verse or chorus? How about a bridge if we edit it?

As you are writing you draft, ask yourself “how can I craft the form to fit the function I want,” as well as “how can this form work and function in a song?”

Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.

Author: Bryan M. Waring

Bryan Waring is a graduate of USM's School of Music with a B.M. in Performance – Composition and is now attending Belmont University for a M.M. in Commercial Media – Composition & Arranging. During his time at USM, he studied violin with Dino Liva and composition with Dr. Daniel Sonenberg, as well as has premiered several pieces during the semiannual Composer's Ensemble concert series. In 2017, Bryan was a writer for the original musical theater work of "Molded By The Flow," directed by Paul Dresher and Rinde Eckert. Outside of school, Bryan has been involved with writing music for videogame developers at Portland's CI2 Lab, collaborating with the King Tide Party, and studying with Larry Groupé (Straw Dogs) in San Diego. Now living in Nashville. Along with composing, Bryan teaches music to children, receiving the Master Teacher Award for his work at ESF Camps; and does audio engineering for live ensembles. Besides talents in music, Bryan is a team-player in any competitive work environment; equipped with skills in leadership, organization, mathematics, creativity, communication, and managing. On the side, Bryan has worked as a model for several skilled artists in the New England area. Among his other accomplishments include obtaining the rank of Eagle Scout in April 2013 with a project of building a side parking area with guide rails for Webb Mountain Park in Monroe, CT.

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